2011 represented a turning point for the consumer web, having brought fundamental changes to how information is stored, shared, and transmitted and to how individuals communicate and connect. To date, bandwidth, storage limits and user access points have suppressed the potential of a web-enabled world. Those barriers have melted away, and consumers are quickly embracing the new normal of hyper-portable computing devices and ubiquitous network connectivity.
Advertising, content, and commerce operations have been forever transformed by the cloud. In big and small ways, 2012 will be a watershed year, with data management standards, technology investments, processing bandwidth, analytic techniques and consumer engagement models continuing to evolve and align – all in the service of delivering faster, cooler, smarter and safer web experiences.
With these changes, consumers are now operating according to a new set of needs and expectations. Forward-thinking companies of every kind are making moves to better manage their web consumer relationships and to better equip themselves to interact more intelligently with their consumers across the web.
At Krux, I have the great privilege of working with partners and clients every day to make good on the consumer web’s potential. What follows are a few predictions for what‘s ahead in 2012:
DMP as a label is retired (or at least reconceived).
Leveraging third-party data to identify and categorize audiences is how the market has come to understand the benefits of a data management platform. In 2012, DSPs, trading desks and ad networks seeking to differentiate their advertising products will continue to make DMP a core capability. Meanwhile, publishers and marketers will turn their attention more to harnessing the value of their first-party data and use this valuable information to chart out data strategies that explicitly balance defense (controlling and securing their audience assets) with aggressive offensive moves (using data to improve advertising, content, commerce, sales and marketing operations).
Smaller operators claim a seat at the table.
Presented with the same growth opportunities and facing similar risks as their larger counterparts, torso and tail web operators will clamor for right-sized solutions to help them improve site performance and data security, deepen their audience relationships, and develop new data-driven revenue streams in ways that address the size of their offerings and audiences.
Enterprise takes web performance and data control seriously.
This year, companies outside of the digital media universe will invest heavily in technology that improves web performance, enhances data security and unlocks new, profitable applications of consumer data. They will start to act, think, and talk like digital publishers – because indeed they are.
Transparency and value exchange take root.
In a multi-screen, hyper-connected media universe, consumers will demand quality web experiences commensurate with the value of data they’re giving up – knowingly or not. In the new year, market leaders will commit to respecting consumer preferences, insist that consumer data collection and transfer happen in the plain light of day, and ensure that data owners receive fair compensation for their data.
Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy will collaborate on an acoustic guitar album, Diddy will reunite with J-Lo, and 50 Cent will shoot himself non-fatally in a lame attempt to regain the spotlight.
I don’t know how these hip hop insights come to me, but they just do. Plainly, 2012 promises to be a very interesting year. Happy Holidays in the meanwhile!
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